Russell, Bertrand

Russell, Bertrand
Name: Russell, Bertrand
Born: 1872
Died: 1970

Bertrand Russell biography

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, mathematician, writer, historian and Nobel laureate. Known for his work in defense of pacifism, atheism, as well as liberalism and left-wing politics and made an invaluable contribution to mathematical logic, the history of philosophy and the epistemology. Less known are his works on aesthetics, pedagogy, and sociology. Russell is considered one of the founders of English new realism, as well as neopositivism.

Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell was born in 1872 in Ravenscroft, Trellech, Monmouthshire. He was a descendant of the family of the British aristocracy. In particular, his grandfather was the prime minister. The boy became an orphan at the age of four, so he was raised by his grandmother, Countess Russell. In 1890, Bertrand went to Trinity College. Even as an 18-year-old boy, Russell showed a passionate interest in mathematics and philosophy, he sought an answer to the question of the possibility of knowing anything in this world. The passion was destined to turn into the work of all life and bring Bertrand fame first in narrow scientific circles, and then glorify him throughout the world. In 1903, he published the book The Principles of Mathematics, a work on foundations of mathematics. It advanced a thesis of logicism, that mathematics and logic are the same. Encouraged by the enormous success of the book, the scientist began to develop this direction. In the years 1910-13, the three-volume Principia Mathematica was published. It was written together with Alfred Whitehead.

Russell adhered to pacifist beliefs. He played a significant part in the Leeds Convention in 1917. His works, written during and after the First World War (Justice in war-time(1916), Principles of Social Reconstruction(1916), Political Ideals (1917), Proposed Roads to Freedom(1918), etc.), were appeals to ignore the service in the army; they eventually turned into a six-month prison sentence for him. Having shown interest in the "communist experiment", cherishing certain hopes, Bertrand Russell in 1920 paid a visit to Soviet Russia, where he met with Lenin and Trotsky.

In the same year, the book The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism was published, in which the writer shared his impressions of the journey and the disappointment he experienced. In 1921, Russell visited China and Japan. There he lectured on philosophy, worked on the book The Problems of China, published in 1922. During 1924-31, he was the teacher of philosophy in the US, moving from city to city. In 1927, Russell and his wife, as an experiment, opened their own school, in which their own child was raised. What results did the pedagogical experiment lead to, the public learned from the book Education and the Social Order, published in 1932.

In the 1930’s, the main interests of Russell included pedagogy and questions of international relations, and he devoted six books to them. In 1931, Bertrand inherited the title of the Count. Russell was an ardent opponent of any theories that implied the suppression of the individual by state, equally passionately criticized fascism and Bolshevism. Attention to current political problems did not abolish study on the philosophical field: in the 1940s, for example, a number of fundamental works were published, in particular, An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth(1940), Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (1948). Since 1944, Russell has been active in the parliament, being a member of the House of Lords. In 1950, he, by that time a very famous public figure and the author of numerous works, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature: thus the public recognized his merits as an outstanding humanist and rationalist.

In the 1950-1960's. Bertrand Russell's activity in matters of international life and foreign policy was growing. His works became the ideological foundation for the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. After participating in one of the demonstrations for the ban on nuclear weapons 89-year-old Russell spent a week in a London prison. When the Caribbean crisis broke out in 1962, he actively corresponded with N. Khrushchev and JF Kennedy, initiating a conference of world leaders that would prevent the threat of a nuclear conflict. Russell was a passionate denouncer of the American intervention in Vietnam, sharply opposed the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet troops in 1968. During 1967-1969 period, Russell worked on an autobiography, summing up his long and eventful life. Bertrand Russell died in 1970 in Penrhyndeudraeth, Wales.